Banning sled-dog industry will stop future slaughters
Environment Minister Terry Lake’s comments about the status of animals under the law underscore precisely why the Vancouver Humane Society, along with the international cosmetics company Lush, is calling for a ban on the sled-dog industry [“ Sled-dog ban not on the horizon”, March 17-24].
If the public is asking for regulation of the industry, they are doing so with the belief that this will stop animal suffering. However, in today’s economically restrained environment, the protection of animals is not a high priority for government. Any regulations or voluntary guidelines are unlikely to be enforced for a variety of reasons, including the lack of public resources and the inaccessibility of the industry.
The slaughter of the 100 sled dogs took place in a remote location on Crown land, and the only reason it came to light was a WorkSafeBC claim. The public has already made it crystal clear that killing animals—humanely or not, because they are surplus to requirements—is wrong, even if it is legal. But regulations will not stop the needless killing (or, as the industry says, “culling”) of healthy dogs simply because they’re no longer bringing in money.
Sadly, the only action the government can take that will truly protect the dogs used for sled races and tours is to ban the industry entirely. That is the only way to ensure that the horrific slaughter of 100 healthy dogs that took place near Whistler, far from the public’s eye, will never happen again.
> Debra Probert / Executive Director, Vancouver Humane Society